Teacher's Name:  Mr. James Werick

Grade/Subject:  Grade 7&8 Social Studies / Religion

Contact:  jwerick@stjohnskenmore.com

Merry Christmas!!!

Gr.7 Social Studies:  Nobody likes to pay taxes.  But, it's another thing altogether to say government has no right to tax us.  We live in a republic, where we elect our lawmakers.  And by electing our lawmakers, we give them permission to make laws we must obey, including tax laws.  Right?  I mean this idea goes all the way back to the year 1215 and a document called Magna Carta.  And yet, in 1765, when folks in the 13 British Colonies made this argument about taxes, the British government acted like the colonists were spouting gibberish.  How could loyal subjects of King George III differ so widely in their views of what they all called the ancient English constitution?  Historians still like to argue over this question.  We'll do the same for some months to come.

Gr.8 Social Studies: How did the U.S. get its hands on Alaska?  It wasn't always the 49th state, you know.  And what about Hawaii?  Or Puerto Rico?  I guess it's like Teddy Roosevelt used to say, "Speak softly and carry a big stick."  Why speak softly?  What big stick?  Did this have anything to do with a bunch of ships, all painted white?  Millionaire sugar planters?  American-built railroads in Cuba?  Or yellow journalism (a.k.a. "fake news")?  Remember the Maine!  Or ask our 8th graders.

Gr. 7&8 Religion:  Great job, Grade 7 students and parents, and thanks much for helping at St. Luke's Mission at Thanksgiving time!  Grade 8 students are getting ready to do some Christmas outreach at St. Luke's.  There are hungry people who need our help, and we're good to go!  As always, many thanks to all the parents who volunteered to serve alongside their kids!  We couldn't do it without you!

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